Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Season, Part 14

I know it's early, but I won't get a chance to post this tomorrow and I have to make it an early night, so here we go

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen

As always, (c) Rebecca Glass, all international copyright laws apply. Please protect intellectual property rights.

The Season, Part Fourteen

Newspaper articles of note by Spartans' beat writer Dick Holt

All That Glitters is not Gold (May 10th)

Hope City police have revealed that they have questioned Spartans’ shortstop Damien Riley in connection to a jewelry-for-drugs ring run by Alia Blackstone and Shia Marceau, both of Hope City. HCPD chief Anderson Mayhew has stressed that Riley is not a suspect in the investigation, but that they had hoped his personal relationship with Blackstone—the two have been friends since grade school—might help police discover either the jewelry or the drug supplier.

Though Riley has a history of legal troubles, most involving a past drug addiction, he has of late attempted to make amends, completing a rehabilitation program and engaged in numerous community service activities. Blackstone and Marceau were arrested the day before the Spartans’ left for their series with Detroit; Riley complied with Mayhew’s request for questioning upon the Spartans’ return.

When asked to comment about the situation, Riley offered the following statement, through his agent, to the general public:

I am greatly grieved by the situation of Ms. Blackstone, who is a longtime friend of mine. However, I cannot and will not condone a course of action that is at best illegal and at worse dangerous, and thus I will fully cooperate with any questions the HCPD may have relating to this incident.

Spartans’ owner Charlie Haus and manager Pete Towers both spoke in support of Riley, saying that he was doing the right thing by cooperating with the HCPD, and that they hoped the situation would reach a quick resolution. The lawyers for Blackstone and Marceau were unable to be reached for comment.

Pyrrhic Victory (May 14)

The Spartans’ 3-0 victory over Seattle yesterday afternoon with a terrible cost: Terry Jones, the veteran first baseman, suffered a hamstring injury while attempting to steal third base in the fifth inning. The injury is expected to sideline Jones until the end of July.

Jones, hitting at a .280 clip thus far, is far from the team’s best hitter, but his defense on the field is still good enough to have won the Fielder’s Award for first base last year. Jones is one of the most important leaders on and off the field for the Spartans, and also a perennial fan favorite. He has injured his hamstring plenty of times over the course of his sixteen year career, but this one no doubts hurts more as Jones has previously announced that this will be his last season.

Lost in the hubbub concerning Jones’ injury is William Tully’s start: Tully went a full eight innings giving up just three hits and no runs, and is off to a 7-1 start with a remarkable 2.78 ERA. Given the rumors surrounding Graeme Johnson’s potential retirement, Micah Garcia’s poor pitching of late and the uncertainties over Paul Green and new Chinese pitcher Li Ming, Tully’s hot start has turned him into Spartans’ most reliable ace of the moment.

“It’s amazing,” Tully told reporters after the game, “it’s like everything has just fallen into place…I feel confident with all of my pitches, and it’s great to help the team every time I take the mound.” Tully next starts on the road against Kansas City.

The Full Monty (May 28)

In his first start since his rookie year, Monty Allison pitched well enough in six and two-thirds innings to help the Spartans to a 7-3 victory over St. Louis. He gave up three runs in the six innings, all earned, and seven hits, while striking out five and walking two.

Allison’s start, of course, had added emotional connotations as he took the place of Micah Garcia, who is still recovering from a serious car accident. Allison, who had before the season started vociferously declared his desire to start, was the only logical choice to fill the void. Jeff Martin has never pitched more than three innings in a league game before, and Eduardo Gomez has only two pitches—not enough to get by as a starter. As the race in the East this year looks to be a three-way fight between Hope City, New England and New York, the Spartans have to win the games they play now, and not try to make up a deficit when Terry Jones returns in July or if Garcia returns at all.

For the first time this season, Allison was not met by boos when he took the mound, a sign, perhaps of the Hope City fans beginning to forgive Allison for his preseason comments, though there is a rumor that Garcia had, from his hospital bed, asked for fans to be respectful of whatever pitcher was slated to start in his place. The fan support obviously helped; Allison pitched much better than any of his rookie starts.

“It’s an honor to be asked to start in place of Micah,” Allison told reporters, “and I’m glad that I was able to make full use of the chance I wanted. Hopefully I’ll be able to do this again.” With no other pitchers on the horizon, it seems doubtful that anyone else but Allison will be pitching for Garcia.

Garcia has no timetable for return, as Spartans’ owner Charlie Haus has said that the primary concern is for him to recover his full health. He is expected to be released from Bellvue Memorial Hospital within the next few days. The driver of the SUV which struck Garcia’s car, Jared O’Connor, has been arrested and detained on charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. He is expected to plead guilty.


  1. I do love the newspaper articles. You do a great job of having them come off as real and I still say there's some journalist in you. You'd be a great muckraker. Oh, and anyone who can work the word pyrrhic into a story gets big props from me. It's my second favorite word (to serendipity).

    Good to see Monty getting kudos. My one complaint: It was too short! LOL j/k. Seriously though, I look forward to reading more. This story is as addictive as cigarettes, but without causing the lung damage!

    Can't wait to read more! Have a safe trip back to Syracuse!

  2. Keep on goooooing!

    It's funny that when it started I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to keep up with all the names but now I know each one and how they're doing and everything.

    You really make it feel real.